Thursday, March 22, 2018

From Spain to Peru; defended the poor and native Indians

St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo

Image of St. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo


Feastday: March 23
Patron of Native rights; Latin American bishops; Peru
Birth: 1538
Death: 1606

Bishop and defender of the rights of the native Indians in Peru, Born in Mayorga, Spain, he studied law and became a lawyer and then professor at Salamanca, receiving appointment-despite being a layman-as chief judge of the court of Inquisition at Granada under King Philip II of Spain. The king subsequently appointed him in 1580 to the post of archbishop of Lima, Peru. After receiving ordination and then consecration, he arrived in Peru in 1581 and soon demonstrated a deep zeal to reform the archdiocese and a determination to do all in his power to aid the poor and defend the rights of the Indians who were then suffering severely under Spanish occupation. He founded schools, churches, hospitals, and the first seminary in the New World. To assist his pastoral work among the Indians, he also mastered several Indian dialects. He was canonized in 1726.

Her conversion story continues; inspired by Lizzie Answers

Just simply enjoy these incredible videos of one persons faith journey into the Catholic Church; they are not only incredible but inspirational:

Let me introduce you to Lizzie; soon to be one of our newest Catholics

Lizzie Answers has been a YouTube phenomenon for awhile; a young enthusiastic Christian who could be anybody's girl next door; this is her journey from the Church of Christ, thru her years at Pepperdine University all the way to her thoughtful, faith filled, intense studying, Holy Spirit driven, passionate journey all the way home to the Catholic Church.

Please click this link below and see her announcement video of the decision to join the one, true, holy and apostolic Church; the Catholic Church!  Welcome home Lizzie.

Click here:

USCCB: we support Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

US Bishops: Strong Support for Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers
‘”Pro-life pregnancy care centers embody everything that is right and good in our nation.’

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement March 20, 2018, praising the work of pro-life pregnancy centers on the occasion of oral arguments being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in NIFLA v. Becerra. At issue are efforts by the State of California to mandate that Pro-Life Pregnancy centers also provide information to their clients about other centers that provide birth control and abortion.
Cardinal Dolan’s full statement:
“Pro-life pregnancy care centers embody everything that is right and good in our nation: generosity, compassion, and love that is offered to support both mother and child. But rather than applauding and encouraging the selfless and life-affirming work of these centers, some governments want to force them to provide free advertising for the violent act of abortion in direct violation of their pro-life convictions and the First Amendment. The United States Supreme Court cannot let this happen. We pray that the Court will do the right thing and uphold our fundamental right to free speech when it decides this case.”
The USCCB and several other groups filed a friend-of-the-court brief before the Supreme Court supporting the pro-life pregnancy centers in this important free speech case. The other groups are the California Catholic Conference, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Christian Legal Society and Agudath Israel of America.
The full text of the brief is available online.

Pope Francis uses morning homily to teach on forgiveness and reconciliation

Santa Marta: The Confessional is not a Laundromat
Sacrament of Penance is Place to Receive God’s Loving Embrace

© Vatican Media
“The Sacrament of Penance is not like going to the Laundromat to wash away the dirt, it is to receive God’s loving embrace,” according to Pope Francis.  He made his remarks during his March 22, 2018, homily during mass at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, as reported by Vatican News.
The Holy Father went on to remind the congregation that “the Lord is ever faithful and that he never forgets us, and this gives us reason to rejoice and to hope”.
Citing the day’s reading from Genesis, the Pope recalled God’s covenant with Abraham, which He will remember “forever”.  Francis said God’s love for us is “visceral” – like that of a mother and father for their children.
“God cannot disown himself, he cannot disown us, he cannot disown his love, and he cannot disown his people,” the Pope said: “because He loves us and this is the faithfulness of God”.
The Holy Father explained that even when we are unfaithful, God’s love continues.  He will not forget us and that gives cause for joy and to rejoice. Thus, confession is more than removing “dirt”:
“No. We go to Confession to receive the love of this faithful God who always awaits us. Always”.

When the visitors flee; could it be daylight savings time?

I have not had to complain about this in almost 3 full years but tonight I'm asking myself: where did the daily visitors go?  Now make no mistake, at least one article is viewed daily here by about 650 to 700 folks.  Shockingly, that is down 300 visitors per day based off the daily average this year.  I've easily averaged 1,000 visitors here a day since the beginning of the year and for most of 2017 too.

What could have changed?  What is different?  My main target would be that nasty, pesky daylight savings time!  That's it!  Got to be just that!

In all reality, I do not know what is up, but I like to have more visitors here visiting the abitadeacon than less so if you are out there please come home.  And if new, stay awhile, read a few articles and stories, follow the Pope, news of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, things related to Permanent Deacons and follow Saint of the Day!

Damn that daylight savings time!

Pope Francis previews book; says God is young we need sense of humor

‘God Is Young’: ‘If One Doesn’t Have a Sense of Humor, It’s Very Difficult to Be Happy’
Pope Francis’ Hymn to Humor, with Chesterton and Thomas More

Pope / Courtesy of Fr Rosica's blog
“If one doesn’t have a sense of humor, it’s very difficult to be happy; it’s necessary not to take oneself too seriously,” stresses Pope Francis in the new book-interview “God Is Young,” published on March 20, 2018 by Robert Laffont Publishers/Presses de la Renaissance for the French. It’s a work that treats particularly the theme of young people, in view of the forthcoming Synod of Bishops of October 2018.
In his dialogue with 32-year-old Italian journalist and writer Thomas Leoncini, the Pope speaks of a sense of humor as a quality that should never be lacking in young people. “A sense of humor is fundamental to be able to breathe, because it’s linked to the capacity to enjoy life, to be enthusiastic,” he says.
“Humor also helps us to be in good humor, and if we are in good humor it’s easier to live with others and with ourselves,” continues the Pontiff. “Humor is like the water that springs sparkling naturally from the source; there is something more: one perceives life, movement.”
In this connection, he quotes English writer G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936): “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” And the Holy Father confides that every day, for almost forty years, he has recited the “Prayer for Good Humor” of another Englishman, Saint Thomas More (1478-1535).
Here is More’s prayer, which concludes the book:
Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest. 
Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humor to maintain it. 
Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good 
and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil, 
but rather finds the means to put things back in their place. 
Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments, 
nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.” 
Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humor. 
Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy, 
and to be able to share it with others.

A new Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis comes out Easter Monday

Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation on Holiness Should Come Out on April 2
The Rumors Are Confirmed

Pope writing a letter
The rumors of the forthcoming publication of a document of Pope Francis on holiness have been confirmed. In a press release on March 20, 2018, the French Tequi publishers announced its release for April 2, Easter Monday.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, who is close to the Argentine Pope, spoke about the preparation of this text last February 28.
The document will be an Apostolic Exhortation and will focus on the theme of holiness.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Archbishop Aymond on how Priests are assigned

Explaining how new assignments for priests are made

You have announced new pastoral assignments for many pastors and parochial vicars. What is the process you go through in making these assignments?
I like to announce the new assignments as early as possible. In the past, we’ve announced all the changes in parish and ministry assignments after Easter. We moved it up a couple of weeks this year because we have completed our work, and the assignments have been finalized. I think announcing the new assignments this early gives the priest an opportunity to prepare for his transition instead of asking him to announce it a few weeks before he leaves. It also gives the parish an opportunity to appropriately bid him farewell and to ask God’s blessings upon him. Even though none of the new pastors goes to his new parish before his assignment begins in July, it gives the parish the extra time to welcome the new pastor. It’s a way to make the transition easier.
A few years ago, you began appointing new pastors to six-year terms, which can be renewed. What is the reasoning behind that?
Under canon law, there are two options for a bishop. Under one option, if there is no term specified, a pastor is appointed, theoretically, for life, unless the pastor would agree to move or unless there is a good reason given by the bishop that he must move. The other option a bishop has is to appoint a pastor to a specific term of office, which the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has set at six years. In the Archdiocese of New Orleans, each pastor is appointed for six years, with the understanding that his term could be renewed for another six years and, perhaps, beyond. This serves many purposes. It gives a pastor the opportunity to become deeply rooted in a parish so that he can do his ministry. At the end of those six years, he and I have a conversation about renewing his term. If, perhaps, there is an emergency, I may ask him to move; perhaps, he would ask for consideration to move into another ministry. This option also means that it is highly unlikely that a pastor, once appointed, will be in that parish until his retirement or death, depending on his age. So often when I visit parishes, parishioners will tell me, “We love our pastor. You can never move Father!” My response is usually, depending on the pastor’s age, “Well, I don’t think he will die here.” I thank God that people fall in love with their pastors. It’s a wonderful thing. But people need to realize that a priest is ordained for the church, and here, particularly, for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. They are not ordained for a specific parish. The needs of the archdiocese have to be considered first.
How would you hope people in the parishes receive these new assignments?
When I receive letters expressing disappointment that a pastor is leaving, I certainly understand. I receive them with an open heart. What I do not appreciate are petitions. We don’t live on protest, unlike the rest of the world. We have a careful and prayerful discernment process for every new assignment. I believe that God has something to do with these assignments. Petitions are just not the Catholic way. My responsibility as bishop is to look at what is best for more than 100 parishes and 50 or 60 ministries. I take these responsibilities very seriously. I understand there is grief in the leaving, but I would ask people who may be upset about losing a pastor to wish God’s blessing on the priest in his time of transition. It’s also not helpful for people of one parish to call and ask what the new pastor was like at his former parish. Every church parish has its own personality and its own needs, and those are two factors among many that we take into consideration for a new assignment.
When do you begin the process for the new clergy assignments?
We start in December by asking each priest to do a self-assessment of his ministry. We ask the priest to tell me if he wishes to remain in his assignment; if he is willing to move but would prefer to stay in his assignment; or, thirdly, if he would like to ask for a new ministry. I bring that information to the Priest Personnel Committee, which is coordinated by Father Pat Williams, our vicar for clergy, and we discuss the information and pray. Once we have completed the first draft of the new assignments, I call the priests and ask them to discern moving from where they are to a new parish or a new ministry.
What kind of feedback from priests have you gotten on the process?
I haven’t heard any negative comments. We look carefully at the assignments. As best as possible, our goal is to match the priest’s gifts with the needs of the parish. We do that to best of our ability. However, I will say this. Sometimes when I ask people to tell me the type of pastor they would want, Jesus would be the only person who could fill that description! While all priests have gifts, we all have weaknesses, and we are all sinners. There is no such thing as a perfect pastor. At the same time, I am very pleased and proud of our pastors because they give excellent pastoral care. We have many beloved pastors throughout the archdiocese. I want to certainly express my profound gratitude to the five priests who have served so faithfully and will be retiring in June. They are Capuchin Father Teodoro Agudo, the pastor of St. Theresa of Avila; Father Robert Cavalier, pastor of St. John the Baptist in Folsom; Father Richard Maughan, pastor of St. James Major; Msgr. Andrew Taormina, pastor of St. Francis Xavier; and Father Michael Kettenring, who will retire as pastor of Visitation of Our Lady but requested to serve as a parochial vicar in another parish because of his age and his desire to have more flexible time to spend with his family. I am so grateful to God for their fidelity and ministry.
Questions for Archbishop Aymond may be sent to